I come across this often – the assumption that once the clocks go back or the winter weather is in full flow that your gardener will shut up shop until they emerge once more from the cocoon of winter into the warmth of spring. The reality is rather different, for a gardener, whilst it is not quite as manic as the May’s and September’s of the year, winter is a seriously busy time. So with my Santa hat on I have booked myself on a disability in garden design course as well as an emergency first aid course. No rest for this mouse.
Continuing Gardener Development (CGD) is a term I am going to claim as my own invention. No matter what your line of work there are ALWAYS new things to learn and one of the things that attracted me to becoming a professional gardener was the fact that you can never EVER know everything, you are always going to be learning.
Having said that it is important to keep your skills up but also with knowledge and experiences from outside of your own bubble – which means training courses are a vital source not only of knowledge and experience but also of a challenge to the thinking of how we do things day in and day out.
So this year I have booked myself on a couple of different courses but both of which will help me make life better for my clients (and me as well of course!).
The first course I booked myself onto was the St. Johns Ambulance’s Emergency First Aid at Work course. This seemingly has absolutely nothing to with secateurs, weed banks or leaf sweeping. There you are going about your day to day and suddenly something happens, and you are now in the middle of a life or death (ok really very unlikely) situation without a clue what to do. I must be honest, I have been here a few times now and whilst I muddled through I really felt, given the age profile of my clients (and my own propensity for self-injury) that this would be a VERY SENSIBLE COURSE to attend. So that one is booked.
Next up was a course I had wanted to get onto for a couple of years but at the start it involved trekking into and across London – having done this kind of thing for 20 years not a problem – but it is a day out of what is usually a busy schedule so I was always hoping it my pop up in a more favourable time of the year. In a similar vein to the first aid course this is all about Understanding Disability in Garden Design which, given the majority of my clientele, I was keen to explore.
Anyway, we are all booked in and I am really looking forward to them because if nothing else it do me good to get outside my comfortable little bubble and see things from a different perspective.